I have recently installed TigerVNC on one of my smaller hosts to do some experimentation and research before starting my next Linux book*. I had a problem accessing the VNC session after getting everything set up, including the firewall. All the VNC viewer would display was a black screen and sometimes an “X” cursor. A lot of research on Google did not provide an exact solution, primarily due to the age of some of the information and the various configuration files that appear in different distributions and at different ties. That research did lead me to synthesize my own related solution to the problem.
When using TigerVNC to login remotely as a user on a remote host, the VNC configuration is maintained in some files in the ~/.vnc directory. The xstartup script file needs to be modified to start a specific desktop rather than the default xinitrc script.
[student@hornet .vnc]$ cat xstartup #!/bin/sh unset SESSION_MANAGER unset DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS # exec /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc startxfce4
You can see in the ~/.vnc/xstartup file that I have commented out the xinitrc line and added the startxfce4 statement at the bottom of the file. This will start the Xfce desktop. Use the start command for your favorite desktop in your own file.
Note: This solution only works for the specific user for which this change has been made. I have not yet found a generic fix that will work for all users on a host.
The TigerVNC installation instructions are available in the Fedora and Red Hat documentation.
* Information about my books is located on my personal web site, http://www.both.org.